Posts Tagged ‘OS’

Text in Windows 7

In OS on 21 February, 2009 at 7:00 am

WPF has been providing a feature that people wanted for a very long time.  Have you ever wonder why a screen with a very high resolution will give you application and text that are too small to use and read properly.  If you take a look at printed material, no matter how big the medium is or how high the dpi used for printing, a 10 point text will always appear as a 10 point text, the higher dpi will just make it appear so much smoother and nicer.  WPF set out to mimic that, thus a WPF application will always appear the same size no matter where you view it.  This is achieved by making the graphic display truly device independent.  A 10cm line will appear as a 10cm line no matter how big the screen or how high the resolution.

Windows 7 will finally bring this feature to the masses, you don’t need to run a WPF application to get this benefit for text.  And I hope that this will also be true for other elements in the Windows.  If this is true, that Vaio P will definitely be good to ship in Windows 7, since the current one under Vista shows text that are way too small to read properly (cause Sony choose to put a high resolution screen on a 8.9” screen).


Reluctance of Microsoft to make it simple

In OS on 11 February, 2009 at 7:00 am

The latest information out for Windows 7 is that there are basically 3 editions for consumers to purchase, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate.  However, the other editions are still available, Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Basic are available for OEM builder and Windows 7 Enterprise is for those Enterprise customer who wants volume licensing.  Although off the shelf consumer will only get to see 3 edition of Windows 7, when buying or using computer system, be it desktop or laptop or netbook, personal or belonging to the company, there are still 5 edition that user will see.  Thus this is definitely still confusing to the average Joe.

I would think that Microsoft should ditch all other editions and stay with only 3, Home, Professional and Ultimate.  Windows 7 Home is for home users and it will include special license that will limit some of the features, for example, Windows 7 Home found on netbook will not have Aero and some other features that are not available under the previous Home Basic.  Users who want these features can purchase a full Home license from Microsoft and these features will then unlock (as what Windows 7 upgrade will currently do).  Windows 7 Ultimate is also the edition for the Enterprise customers.  In this case there are really just 3 editions of Windows 7 and it serve the purpose of the previous 6.

Next generation Windows, officially known as Windows 7

In OS on 15 October, 2008 at 7:00 pm

I was just talking about the change in codename from Vienna to Windows 7 and Microsoft officially announced that the new name for the next generation Windows is going to be Windows 7.  Simplicity? Copied from Apple?  I hope they didn’t pay some expensive product consultant to come out with this name.  Personally I’m neutral to the new name, it is the OS itself that matter.  And I sure hope that the pre-beta that Microsoft is going to review is closer to the one that they are going to ship.

Windows 7

In OS on 13 October, 2008 at 7:00 pm

It been a while, Microsoft has changed the codename of the next generation of Windows to simply Windows 7 instead of the previous Vienna.  With the PDC 08 coming real soon and Microsoft promise of letting the attendee have the first public bit of the OS, more and more information on the OS has been released.  It will be interesting to see the new features that Windows 7 is going to offer.

Vista launch press coverage inaccuracies, corrected

In OS on 2 February, 2007 at 6:00 am

With all the big hoo ha and bashing of Windows Vista on the web, a web post finally do some justice.  A point that I especially like is:

“Any “expert” that says that you should not buy Windows Vista for security should be locked up and never allowed to write ever again.

As  a developer I know for a fact that patching an inherent flaw within the software architecture does not solve the problem entirely.  This is especially true when security is concerned.  This is like when a weak point is found in a defence wall and breached, patching the hole later on does not give you a stronger wall.  The whole structure of the wall has already been weakened and thus future breach will be possible.

Problem with Volume

In OS on 31 August, 2006 at 7:48 pm

Microsoft took a big knife and chop away the old audio architecture in Windows XP.  With that gone, they came up with a new audio architecture from ground up, aiming to make audio in Windows Vista less affected by any sudden peak in CPU usage.  When they are at it, they also make audio easier to use by changing the perspective from devices to end points like speakers, and headphones.

All these changes should be all well and good for users of Windows Vista, however, it make the job of audio application developer so much harder.  For example, in the midst of all these changes we lost the ability to change the master volume.  At first this seems to be OK, as Windows Vista implemented per-app volume and any application that is changing the master volume through the MMSystem API, Windows Vista will route it to the per-app volume.  However, it turns out that for certain media stream, this is not working, which is especially true for MIDI.

After several days of hard work, I’ve finally managed to chop up my application and make the old master volume into a brand new volume that truly affect only my own application.  But I’ve decided not to take part in Vista’s per-app volume eco-system; My argument is that since this is a feature that is being push by Microsoft, they have the responsibility to make it work for all application.

Bye Bye Hour Glass, Hello Blue Circle

In OS on 5 August, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Windows Vista July CTP (Build 5472) springs a surprise.  The “Busy” hourglass has been replaced by a revolving blue circle.  If you have tried out the Internet Explorer 7 Beta 3, you will be familiar with the new “Busy” or “Working in the background” animation of the mouse cursor; the “Busy” animation while a web page is loading is also using a revolving blue circle.

Seems like the Windows Vista is really getting a “wax and polish” for each version that came out after the Beta 2.  I believe that more changes will be coming our way.

Windows Vista should be delayed?

In OS on 1 August, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I’ve just got back from a week long vacation and stumble upon a post which doesn’t seems good for Windows Vista.  One of the beta tester and outright supporter of Windows Vista, Robert McLaws, had declared that Vista needs more time.  He finds that Windows Vista is still not stable enough to call for a Release Candidate.  Though newer interim build had solved some of the stability and performance issues of the Beta 2, newer bugs came popping out.  He recommends that Windows Vista be delayed by another 4-6 weeks, so that the whole Vista team can get their acts together to deliver a fantastic OS.

One interesting thing that he pointed out is that developers have been using too much of “by design” or “not reproducible” to close bugs report.  This is something quite common for software developers, once a bug can’t be reproduce they tend to move on quickly to another bug.  This will cause inaccuracy to any software report as potential bugs will stay hidden by the tag of “by design” or “not reproducible”.  Developers should always find time to try and reproduce any bugs that are “not reproducible”, so as not to leave any hidden “surprise” for the customers.  For my company, we will not close any bugs that are tag as “by design” or “not reproducible” automatically, developers will need to work with the testers and convince the project engineer that these bugs are really “by design” or “not reproducible”.

What? What OSR2?

In OS on 17 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

I was reading some articles that mention about FAT32 disk format and this remind me of something interesting that happened when I was trying to purchase a copy of a so called “specialized” version of OS.

Time warp to the era of the Windows 95.  Windows 95 has just been released into the world not too long ago and I’ve just started work, fresh out from the U.  Later on, Microsoft decided to release a newer version of Windows 95 that is much more stable and has a particular feature that I wanted badly once I’ve heard about it.  This newer version is targeted mainly for Microsoft’s OEM customers and thus was called OEM Service Release 2, in short OSR2.  The new feature?  FAT32, support larger hard disk partition and will create smaller file fragments so that hard disk usage is dramatically reduced if you have a lot of small files on your machine.

Thus I went down to a local computer shop and asked them whether they sell a copy of Windows 95 OSR2.  “OS what?” said the salesman, “Oh you mean OS/2 is it?”, before I can even start to react, he follow up and said “Nope, we don’t carry IBM’s software product here.”, pointing to his Microsoft authorized dealer sign he continues “You mean still got people want to use other OS meh?”.  From that I know I have to rest my case, this guy has obviously never heard of an OSR2 before.  But at least he still know about the once highly regarded IBM’s OS, the OS/2.

Mac Attack!

In OS on 16 July, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Recently Apple released a new slew of ad campaign which target “so called” PC’s weak point.  They have a nerdy looking guy acting as a PC and a young guy dressed in jeans acting as a Mac.  So the ad start with these 2 guys standing beside each other and goes “Hi I’m a Mac”, “And I’m a PC”.  You can check out the clips from here (oh yeah, if you’re not on a Mac, you will need to install the Quicktime player, dude) .

These ads actually created a back lash from the community.  Check out this article on Slate just to see what one of these guys think.  And because of this someone actually came out with a spoof to get back at Apple.  Be sure to check out this spoof just for a good laugh.

So do you mean stupid stupid or cool stupid?